Vocational stats

Vocational stats

In the thread on the Tridentine Mass and altar girls in Arlington, Virginia, the topic of numbers of priestly vocations came up. In the July 2005 issue of Catholic World Report we ran the article “Priestly Vocations in America: A Look at the Numbers” by Jeff Ziegler. He examined the statistics for 2004 from all US dioceses, ranking them based on the ratio of seminarians to number of Catholics in the diocese and came up with some interesting numbers. The ratio didn’t seem to depend on the perceived orthodoxy of the bishop. Some dioceses who’ve had liberal bishops for many years have a higher ratio of seminarians. Read the whole article, which is now in the Bettnet Forum, and then download the PDF of the vocation-rank tables.

The relevant information on Arlington is this:


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Likewise, the Diocese of Arlington had 42 seminarians in 1995. By 1998-the year Bishop John Keating died-that number had fallen to 32, with a ratio of one seminarian to 10,200 Catholics (a ratio that would rank 62nd today). The number of Arlington seminarians has continued to fall under Bishop Keating’s successor, Bishop Paul Loverde, and now stands at 23, for a 107th-place ranking.

We plan on doing a follow-up on the 2005 figures this year.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli